CHINA’S crackdown on cryptocurrencies has seen Bitcoin and Ether plunge in price after the country ruled all transactions in the digital assets were illegal.

Bitcoin’s price dipped about five per cent to $42,496.12, according to Coin Metrics data. Ether, the second-largest digital currency, dropped seven per cent to $2,921.53.

But Senator Pat Toomey hailed the decision of China’s central bank to declare cryptocurrency transactions illegal as a “huge opportunity” for the US.

In a tweet the GOP lawmaker wrote that the decision was also a reminder of America’s “structural advantage over China”.

“Beijing is so hostile to economic freedom they cannot even tolerate their people participating in what is arguably the most exciting innovation in finance in decades,” he added.

It comes after China said that mining for cryptocurrency tokens is banned.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) added: “Virtual currency-related business activities are illegal financial activities.”

The country previously banned financial institutions from offering crypto related transactions, and warned investors against speculative trading in them.

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